Search found 161 matches

by JohnSmith
Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:11 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Civics Lesson
Replies: 34
Views: 8220

Another issue that is near and dear to my heart is the idea of disenfranchising stupid and or ignorant voters. If you don't know anything at all about the candidate you are voting for then you are just screwing up the process for the rest of us who actually know what we're doing. And that sir, is w...
by JohnSmith
Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:21 pm
Forum: General
Topic: MIT Plasma Thruster Program
Replies: 13
Views: 2765

Re: MIT Plasma Thruster Program

There are a number of options. Various air launch/cannon or ram accelerator/tether relays, The "Cheap & Stupid Engineering" philosophy of the Sea Dragon BDB, and of course a megascale structure for a national prestige project. Plenty of pathways if the will is there. Ah, my very favorite launch tec...
by JohnSmith
Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:06 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Civics Lesson
Replies: 34
Views: 8220

I would just prefer that elected officials (Representatives, Senators, and President) be elected and then THEY should decide what a reasonable amount of taxation is necessary to run the Necessary functions of Government. The natural inclination of those people who become part of the Government is t...
by JohnSmith
Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:18 pm
Forum: News
Topic: WB7.1 Contract Awarded March 3, 2009
Replies: 124
Views: 35923

Yes, having more ships probably would have sped WWII up. Maybe prevented it altogether. Who can say? Also possible would be a buildup of arms on both sides, until an attack happens anyway. One only need look at the war with the Soviets. We never got into a direct confrontation with them because the ...
by JohnSmith
Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:03 am
Forum: News
Topic: WB7.1 Contract Awarded March 3, 2009
Replies: 124
Views: 35923

Heh. Probably true, at that. It's good to balance your bias. Still, I'm thinking of the naval arms race that occurred before WW1. It's agreed by pretty much everyone at this point that it was a contributing factor to the hostilities. Sorry Billy, but I suspect you're wrong about an arms race helping...
by JohnSmith
Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:05 am
Forum: News
Topic: WB7.1 Contract Awarded March 3, 2009
Replies: 124
Views: 35923

Perl harbour, I guess. I don't understand how you think it applies, since it was a navy fleet that got bombed. Having more ships would have helped? And arms races prevent wars? Wow, was my history teacher ever wrong! What does discouraging war have to do with helping the economy? Unless I'm complete...
by JohnSmith
Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:42 pm
Forum: News
Topic: WB7.1 Contract Awarded March 3, 2009
Replies: 124
Views: 35923

Oy. A little heavy on the DoE hate there. Using wind on boats vs on land isn't curious at all, any more than it's curious that we don't use perchlorate based fuels in motorcycles.
Sometimes, you don't need the densest energy storage possible. Sometimes, it's a Bad Thing.
by JohnSmith
Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:08 am
Forum: News
Topic: WB7.1 Contract Awarded March 3, 2009
Replies: 124
Views: 35923

Oy. If that's what Nebel has to go through every time he posts on this forum, no wonder we haven't heard much from him lately...
by JohnSmith
Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:07 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Undergrad Research
Replies: 15
Views: 6322

Or Waterloo... :P
by JohnSmith
Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:50 am
Forum: Design
Topic: Casting away
Replies: 1
Views: 3718

Casting away

I've been trying to figure out a good construction project I can put together. Then I started reading about backyard aluminum casting. I've read that you can make UHV tanks out of aluminum (not that I'd try), but would aluminum coil casings work? Or would this at least be a cheap step towards a Fusor?
by JohnSmith
Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:30 pm
Forum: News
Topic: Zero point energy, hu?
Replies: 83
Views: 22557

As I understand it, when virtual particles pairs are created, you get a 'normal' particle, and an antiparticle. If the antiparticle fell in more often than the normal one, that would let mass escape. I couldn't tell you why things don't average out, though.
by JohnSmith
Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:29 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Hobbies other than polywell?
Replies: 46
Views: 13602

Wait, what? I've never seen anyone else who likes filk! My friends barely put up with it...

Um, reading about (and hopefully building soon) repraps, researching space launch tech, iGEM and other synthetic bio stuff.
A little bit of squash, if I can find the time.
by JohnSmith
Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:25 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Family Loses House Because Of Global Warming
Replies: 12
Views: 2989

Hydro power is the sanest, cleanest power in the world. No waste, no storage problems, completely renewable. Yes, it sucks that people lost their homes, but that's a governmental problem, nothing to do with AWG or hydro power. The US already gets a fair percentage of it's power from hydro, since tha...
by JohnSmith
Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:36 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Who comes up with this stuff ?
Replies: 5
Views: 1507

Eh, It's not as bad as you make it out. We've had that requirement up here in Canada for a while, and nobody's dead yet.
It was probably removed because it's just plain annoying.
by JohnSmith
Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:21 am
Forum: General
Topic: Wintel
Replies: 18
Views: 3599

VHDL hardly qualifies as a programming language. It certainly qualifies as a pain in the rear, though. For some reason I had to learn it last year. Wish they'd taught us Verilog instead. Sorry Simon, but you seem to be advocating a return to assembly language, because a really good programmer doesn'...